Show Details

Healthy Fat Roundup

April 21, 2006

If some scientists have their way, bacon could soon be in the health food aisle.


Heart-healthy pork. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A team of researchers report creating bioengineered pigs that produce omega-3 fatty acids—the healthy fats naturally produced in some fish and plants. The results were published in the journal Nature Biotechnology and point to two areas of research: first, the creation of heart-healthy pork that would provide a new source of omega-three; and secondly, the study of the pigs themselves and their hearts. The cardiovascular systems of pigs and humans are similar, so studying how omega-three fatty acids affect the pigs could help the researchers learn how the compounds work in people.

In related news, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh report that omega-three fatty acids are effective at killing liver cancer cells in the lab. The compounds stimulated what’s known as apoptosis, or cell suicide, in the cancer cells. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.